Anyone ever get off heart meds?

I had a heart attack in December 2011 and I am taking Metoprolol twice a day and lisinopril once a day. I was wondering if anyone "out there" has ever come off their heart meds? I know about the warning not to discontinue them suddenly, which I definitely won't do, but I'm hoping to be able to look forward to being off them at some point. I took Effient for a year after my stent and then cardiologist said I could stop, but he essentially says I'll be on the other stuff forever! I don't want that! Be assured I won't do anything without checking with a doctor, just wanted to know if there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

Report post

34 replies. Join the discussion

Hi Bekhasmom,
I have been on a beta-blocker, the same type of med as metropolol, for 13 years since my artery blockages and stents. As I guess you know, they lower the pressure in your arteries which causes plaque and blockages to form. I've heard and read that some people are able to control their b.p. with very stricts diets. I don't happen to be one of them. I have so many other health problems, including irritable bowel syndrome, that the very raw diets are impossible for me. I don't like the effects of the meds, especially the fatigue from the beta blocker. I had my cardio lower my dose for a while, but my bp ran high for too long and i got chf, and then pvc's and now I'm on a higher dose of b.b. than ever. That's my experience. Maybe others have different. Wrk

Report post

In my experience with Prinzmetal's angina, I have periods when I feel terrible, and long periods when I feel very well. I keep up with my meds, but I wonder if anyone out there recommends going off some of the meds when well, to have something to fall back on when the PA stikes. In the past I tried cutting my nitro patch in half, only to be told NEVER do that by my PCP. Presently I'm in a good spell, and wondering if I may cut the Imdur dose in half, or how to cut the patches.

Anyone else tempted to do that, or anyone else doing that?

Trissie

Report post

Hi! I'v been on Coreg and Lisinopril for 7+ years. About 18 months in, after being titrated up to 50mg/day on Coreg, my EF was back to normal range and the doc said I could cut the Rx dose in half. (Nothing about doing it slowly). A couple of days after going down to 25 mg/day, I went into very high A-fib and had to go to ER. Not fun. I was on digoxin with the 25mg Coreg for a couple of months then able to drop the digoxin. I'm still on 25 mg/ day Coreg and 5 mg lisinopril and don't plan to change that any time soon. My EF is in normal range, I have an ICD, my CHF is completely managed, so I don't want to upset the cart! I have some days when I'm a little tired, but for the most part I have good energy. I walk 3 miles every day first thing and watch my sodium very closely. Are you having bad side effects from either/both of the Rx? take care, laurali

Report post

I HAVE TO KEEP ON LORSTAN & METROPOLOL TO MAINTAIN MY BP TOO. THERE'S NO WAY I WILL BE ABLE TO STOP THE MEDS.THE METROPOLOL YOU DO NOT SUDDENLY STOP. IT CAN CAUSE YOU CARDIC ARREST. READ YOUR SIDE EFFECTS LABELS. I TAKE SIMVASTATIN & 325 BAYER ASPIRIN FOREVER. I WAS TAKEN OFF THE PLAVIS AFTER 2 YEARS & GIVEN THE BAYER. I TOO WORKOUT TO HELP CONTROL THE BAD CHORESTROL (LDL) AND LOSE THE WEIGHT.

Report post

It has been suggested to me that if I have an ablation procedure, I might be able to reduce or go off Beta blocker. I have supraventricular tachycardia (most recent episode put me in hospital 3 days...bad one), had heart attack 4 years ago at 57, 4 stents put in....have had to go off all drugs except BB due to severe side effects. Atenolol is making me a zombie, and recently my hair started to fall out! I am not keen on ablation, though some reports represent it as easy cure, many report it as much riskier. So I too have wondered about just going off BB as my life has so deteriorated.

Report post

My business partner was on 23 different kinds of meds for diabetes and heart disease. He had a quadruple by-pass. He's now off of everything but Metformin on occasion. He went from total exhaustion to traveling the world again with a very stringent protocol and testing based upon his specific needs. It can be done for those who are willing to make considerable dietary sacrifices.

Report post

I know there is a correlation between lifestyle changes and heart/vascular disease, but any studies on the relationship between different types of heart arrythmias, tachycardia and lifestyle? Specifically certain eating plans?

Report post

I'd say first, read up on WIKI what each of those classes of drugs do. I sometimes wonder why people get one drug vs another. Example, I take carvedilol vs metropolol which is I think similiar. You wonder why the MD chose one vs the other. I have in my armament other drugs that I can use regularly, daily if I need them, or not. I also regularly take statin + aspirin. Sometimes, one drug is far more tolerable than others.

Recently, I had an attack of vertigo and I went off my meds for the week-end, in particular, the carvedilol (beta/alpha blocker). I am at a really low dose 6.25, and I'd forgotten it for a day, then I felt better and better. I skipped for 3 days. (I called the cardie office and told them I was off it and would talk with them Monday)...They asked that I continue the statin + aspirin, which I did. I had energy, libido and felt better and better. I felt upbeat.

Come Monday, I had a couple of heart rhythm speed ups and big drops that let me know my heart was unmanaged. I decided I didn't want to have a big fatal arrhythmia to happen because I was off my meds. I am well aware that my heart is vulnerable, over-reactive and doesn't have a big capacity for stress or exertion, even though my mind does. So, I went back on my original starting dose of 3.125 (babiest dose ever) and have felt pretty good since. I think a little re-set was excellent, but I did it with supervision. As a note of interest, they have found that carvedilol's action is actually in the BRAIN center, not the actual heart as was thought.

Note: Yesterday, my husband left for a 2 week trip; the longest in our marriage. I am OK but a little nervous about it. A little sad that I decided not to go with him, but a little excited for solo life and responsibilities. There was some sex and the culmination that does with that..and subsequently, after a few hours, I had over the course of several hours, I felt disturbing "throbs" smack dab in my heart. Either it was delayed oxygen hungry or it was reverberating from the physiological response of the sex. I decided to take 1/2 clonaz to just quiet down my brain-heart connection. I had one or two more throbs, and then none - and then I slept with CPAP. I think if I'd taken my usual dose of 3/4 clonaz, it would have been silent. I have license with my doctor as we have a great partnership, to add more carvedilol or nitro if needed, depending on my assessment. I would not throw the kitchen sink though...I pick and choose.

So there is my food for thought as shared...and know that one MUST be a keen observer as to what is happening. Yes, I got a little worried and panicky when it was throbbing after my husband was on a plane. I decided that I would not have him come back for a false alarm ~ and picked the first thing I felt I needed, and that was to quiet my system. I would have added the nitro, but I felt the issue was really related to the brain-heart connection.

Report post

It looks like I should leave well enough alone. but I had hoped that the meds I was omitting would be a bonus in the times I really needed them.

Report post

to S1228551 You will see hair growth quickly!
You can buy Women's Rogaine hair solution It will grow your hair back in weeks. I lost the hair in the top of my head. it shedded out from the Simvastatin 50 mg meds. Which can cause hair loss & memory loss side effects. I went to see the Dermatologist , He recommeded Women's Rogaine Hairso;ution, two squirts a day. Wash hair in yellow bottle baby shampoo. You can purchase it at walmart for 21.95. Plus get some vitamin E for hair growth 8.99 at walgreens.

Report post

Thank you, my eyebrows and lashes are disappearing also.... my hair loss seems to be related to the beta blockers, I read something about that. I had to go off the statins Feb 2012 because of pain, liver problems, brain foggyness... and none of that has totally disappeared one year later.... hard to tell where one starts and the other begins. I will look in to the products you mentioned.
Suzie

Report post

EVERYBODY I KNOW THE DOCTORS SAY THEY ARE ON OUR SIDE BUT THAT IS NOT THE TRUTH, THESE BETA BLOCKERS ARE SOME WHAT WORSE THAN TAKING STREET DRUGS. FOR INSTANCE I TAKE COREG , THEY STARTED ME ON THE MAXIMUM DOSAGE, FOR WHAT REASON, TO ONLY SET ME UP FOR BAD HEALTH. COREG IS LIKE THE COUSIN OF CRACK IN MY OPINION. IT HAS MAXIMUM CONTROL OVER YOUR HEART AND BRAIN, AND IT WILL CAUSE ALL THE MAJOR SIDE EFFECTS OF HEART DISEASE AND INSOMNIA SO NOT ONLY DOES THAT RAISE YOUR BLOOD PRESSURE BUT ALSO STRESS LEVELS. I TRIED TO CUT THE PILL AND THE COREG CONSTANTLY RAISED MY PRESSURE TO 160/100 AND HEART RATE NEVER WENT PAST 87. BUT THIS WAS FOR 2WEEKS THEN I JUST GAVE THE COREG BACK AND IT DROP TO 110/60 BUT AFTER A WHOLE DAY IT WENT BACK UP TO THE 150s 160s even at regular dose
SO I CONTROLLED THE PRESSURE CONSTANTLY WITH GINGER ROOT AND GARLIC WITH CAYENNE PEPPER. BUT SOMETIMES IT STILL WANTS TO GO UP. I BELIEVE EVERYBODY ON HERE NEEDS A NATUROPATHIC DOCTOR TO FULLY DETOX COREG
BUT THE COST TO FINALLY GET OFF BETA BLOCKERS MAY BANKRUPT THE AVERAGE PERSON, BUT FOR THOSE ON A LOW DOSAGE OF COREG, I THINK YOU HAVE A BETTER SHOT THAN ME RITE NOW BUT I WILL KEEP MY HOPES HIGH AND I WILL REPORT TO EVERYBODY ON HERE IF I FIND OUT SOMETHING TO SAVE US ALL!!!

Report post

Hi YB,
I don't know your exact situation, I do agree BB's take alot more out of us than cardiologists ever want to admit, but still I say it's important to stay on them. I've been on them for 14 years. I begged my cardio to decrease my dose to decrease the fatigue and heaviness. We tried that for a while but my pressure creeped up and my heart conditions got worse. I had to go back to the original dose and then double the original dose.
I had started to have PVC's on a regular basis, which everyone said was harmless but not fun to live with (and I don't believe really harmless.) Right now if I miss my dose of BB for even a few hours I notice the PVCs and heaviness right back again.
Alot of people seem to try to handle things with so-called natural methods. I say keep an eye on things and if your bp is running high alot of the time for a long time you are likely to wish you found a way to live with the meds and need to do so anyway.
Wrk

Report post

Interesting wrkradvct...I had an heart track and was put on metropolol. PVCs presented after a couple months. Went off metropolol a few months after that, and the PVCs completely stopped! I had read that in some cases, beta blockers can cause PVCs, in other cases, they may help prevent/minimize them!

Report post

Hi Nboy,

Yes you may be correct. Anything seems possible, especially with these arrhythmia things.

wrk

Report post

HEY NBoy,

WHAT WAS YOU PROCESS OF STOPPING BETA BLOCKERS.

Report post

Nothing exciting. I was on a very low dose and, with my pushing (only a little), my doc agreed. Big factor was my normally low blood pressure (100/70) and resting heart rate (low 40s). Beta blockers pushed them even lower, which can then introduce other problems (like fainting). It was a pleasant surprise that my PVCs completely stopped when I ditched the drugs. I haven't noticed PVCs in the 2.5 years since!

Report post

Thanks for the replies. I had an interesting thing happen last night I would like to discuss. I think I mentioned in another post that I still get anxious when my husband has to go out of town; well, he left this morning for a trip. Last night I forgot to take my Metoprolol (I take 50 mg Metoprolol tartrate twice a day) and about 1:30 AM I awoke with a rapid heart rate (about 120). I remembered my medicine, took a dose and was able to go back to sleep after experiencing a little anxiety. My question is, just wondering if this is because I missed a dose (however, I have sometimes forgotten to take it in the morning and don't seem to experience this during the day), was it maybe because my blood sugar was a little high (154 at 10:00 PM) or maybe it was just anxiety about him being gone. This is driving me nuts! Thanks for any insight!

Report post

Hi B'smom,
I believe the more stress/anxiety I am under, the more I notice my heart rate and palpitations if I forget my betablocker. As I said in another reply here or elsewhere, I will notice it within a few hours. So that's my guess. I'm not sure there are any such immediate effects between blood sugar and blood pressure, at least I never noticed it in many years caring for my dad with both.
Wrk

Report post

I'm only on my insulin for my diabetes, 325 mg of aspirin and 1/2 a 10.5 lisnopril daily and that's it -- but I eat up a lot of supplements and hopefully will be able to get rid of the lisnopril also.

Report post

This discussion is closed to replies. We close all discussions after 90 days.

If there's something you'd like to discuss, click below to start a new discussion.

Things you can do

Support WomenHeart

Help WomenHeart reach its goals and support people like yourself by making a donation today.

Donate to  WomenHeart

Discussion topics

Heart health links and resources


The SCAD Ladies Stand Up -- Read the special report

Community leaders

Disclaimer

The information provided by this online support network through WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease and Inspire is for general informational purposes only. The information is not intended to substitute for professional medical advice, diagnoses, or treatment. If you are ill, or suspect that you are ill, see a doctor immediately. In an emergency, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. WomenHeart: The National Coalition for Women with Heart Disease never recommends or endorses any specific physicians, products or treatments for any condition.